As part of its Rs.70,000-crore expansion programme, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) on Monday commissioned a unit procured from Italy-based Danieli at its Rourkela Steel Plant.

SAIL Chairman C. S. Verma inaugurated the second ladle furnace of steel melting shop-II of Rourkela Steel Plant, the company said in a statement.

“The ladle furnace is part of a Rs. 197.66-crore scheme for simultaneous blowing in basic oxygen furnace (BOF) convertors of steel melting shop-II.

“Total investment envisaged for different facilities as a part of the modernisation and expansion is Rs.11,812 crore,” it said.

SAIL is undertaking an estimated Rs.70,000-crore capacity augmentation at all of its steel plants. The country's largest steel producer has targeted to install an annual production capacity of about 23 million tonnes against the present 14 million tonnes.

The Rourkela plant produces about two million tonnes of steel and is targeting to double its annual capacity in the next two years.

“The 150-tonne ladle furnace, procured from Danieli India, is meant for secondary refining of steel for finer chemistry control and maintenance of ideal temperature for continuous casting,” it added.

The company said that the new furnace would increase the capacity of the unit from 1.68 million tonnes to 1.85 million tonnes of liquid steel annually. “...thereby increasing production of slabs by 0.17 million tonnes per annum,” it added.

More In: Business | Industry